Identity Theft (definition):  When someone uses your name or personal information, such as your Social Security number, driver’s license number, credit card information, or other account information without your permission.

Identity thieves frequently:

  • Open new accounts in a victim’s name
  • Apply for new credit cards using the victim’s information, make charges, and leave the bills unpaid
  • Set up telephone or utility service in a victim’s name
  • Apply for loans, apartments, and mortgages in a victim’s name

Identity theft can result in damage to your credit rating – damage that could take years to fix.  Generally, victims of credit and banking fraud are liable for no more than the first $50 of the loss. In many cases, the victim will not be required to pay any part of the loss.

To reduce your risk of identity theft:

  • Protect your personal information and do not carry your Social Security card with you
  • Shred items that contain your personal information and account numbers
  • Keep your mail safe and store your personal information in a safe place
  • Order your credit report at least once a year to make sure no one is using your identity to open account

If you think your identity has been stolen, take the following steps:

  1.  Contact the three major credit bureaus.  Contact the fraud departments of all of the three major credit departments (click here for contact information) to place a fraud alert on your credit file.  The initial fraud alert is for 90 days.  You can ask for an extended fraud alert if you file a police report.
  2. Close accounts.  Close the accounts that you know or believe have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.
  3. File a police report.  Get a copy of the report to submit to your creditors and others who require proof of the crime.
  4. File your complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC maintains a database of identity theft cases, which is used by law enforcement agencies for investigations.  Filing a complaint also helps us learn more about identity theft and the problems it causes victims.


idt-resources-mini_rotator_0 As a security measure, Rapid Home Solutions requires all clients to enroll in a Credit Monitoring and Identity Theft Protection service.